Matt Ralph, Brotherly Game: What exactly happened against Sporting Kansas City? Two goals inside 10 minutes, the crowd rocking and SKC goes home with a point.
Abbie Mood Lang, Burgundy Wave: The Rapids let off the gas and SKC took advantage of it. As head coach Anthony Hudson put it in the post-game press conference, “the great start was almost our problem. I think we went two nil up and then we just invited pressure on ourselves and it was almost too good a start for us.”
MR: Colorado is one of those teams that’s been hard to track over the last few years. They were really bad one year, but then were suddenly really good and here they are with only a point through two league matches and a 2-0 aggregate loss to Toronto FC in the Champions League back in February. What do you expect out of this team this season under new head coach Anthony Hudson? What additions/changes has he made to the team and their approach?
AML: Everything is different about the 2018 Rapids. They’ve completely overhauled the roster and only 3-4 starters from last year are still in the starting XI this season (Howard, Badji, Hairston, and Ford when he isn’t injured). Hudson runs a 3-5-2 formation and they are still figuring things out and learning how to play together, but I think this could be one of the best Rapids teams we’ve seen in awhile. We also have one more attacker that was just signed and just arrived in Colorado this week (Yannick Boli).
MR: The Union haven’t conceded in their first two matches and could have an even younger back line if Jim Curtin starts 18-year-old Matt Real on Saturday in place of the injured Fabinho. Should Union fans be worried, especially coming off a week when both Dominique Badji and Joe Mason found the back of the net? Are the Union in for a long day of direct play and pressure on their back line?
AML: I would guess that the Rapids are going to be fired up after what happened last week and will feed off the home energy. No one was happy with the draw, and if they can keep up the pressure like they did in the first 30 min. against Kansas City, Philadelphia could have a tough time keeping up. That being said, I think Blake is one of the best keepers in the league, so it definitely won’t be easy, but I’d imagine that the Rapids would take advantage of missing Fabinho on the left side.
The Union and the Rapids are scheduled to kick off at 9 p.m. eastern time on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on The Live Well Network and on PhiladelphiaUnion.com.